When the 117th Congress convened Jan. 3, the House of Representatives added two outrageous members to their ranks — Congresswomen Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who have already roiled the House with their outrageous conduct and statements antithetical to traditional notions of democracy.
Both Greene and Boebert have supported QAnon, the online conspiracy movement that supported the insurrection on the Capitol Jan. 6.
Greene’s incendiary conduct led to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-Md.) challenge to House Republicans to strip Greene of her committee assignments on the House Labor and Education Committee and Budget Committee.
Hoyer’s move has deep support in the Democratic caucus. Greene has a marked history of making incendiary statements. CNN reported last week that two years before being elected to Congress, Greene commented on Facebook that the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, that took 17 lives was a staged event. Green also “liked” a Facebook post which stated that the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, in which Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed 26 people, was a “STAGED SHOOTING.”
Media Matters for America reported in December 2018 that Greene claimed in a Facebook post that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) viewed school shootings as a convenient means of promoting stricter gun laws.
“I am told that Nancy Pelosi tells Hillary Clinton several times a month ‘we need another school shooting’ in order to persuade the public to want strict gun control,” Greene wrote, as reported by The Washington Post.
Greene has promoted social media posts supporting the execution of prominent Democrats. She endorsed a post stating that Speaker Pelosi deserved “a bullet to the head.”
The Georgia congresswoman has also promoted anti-Semitic social media posts. Vox News reported that Greene claimed wildfires in California in 2018 were “ignited by a spacer laser controlled by a corporate cabal, including the Rothschild banking firm.” In December 2018, Greene shared a video on her Facebook page that featured a well-known British antisemite who wrote that “Zionist supremacists have schemed to promote immigration and miscegenation.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) has strongly condemned Greene, her conduct and her bigoted remarks.
“The RJC has never supported or endorsed Marjorie Taylor Greene. We are offended and appalled by her comments and her actions. We opposed her as a candidate and continue to oppose her now. She is far outside the mainstream of the Republican Party, and the RJC is working closely with the House Republican leadership regarding the next steps in this matter,” the organization said in a statement last week.
Like Greene, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) has fouled Congress’ standards of decency and behavior. She likened Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ coronavirus restrictions on restaurants to sending in “Brown Shirts to make sure everyone shuts down.” “Brown Shirt” is a term used to describe the Sturmabteilung, Adolf Hitler’s militia known for their brown shirts.
Polis is Colorado’s first Jewish governor.
Like Greene, Boebert has made appearances with white supremacists. Boebert has also endorsed QAnon postings and expressed general approval of the conspiracy group.
On Jan. 6, the day of the insurrection, Boebert tweeted Speaker Pelosi’s location to rioters. “Today is 1776,” she tweeted, invoking the American Revolution as a battle cry for the crazed melee that stormed the Capitol.
In the days after the assault on Congress, Speaker Pelosi ordered that members pass through metal detectors for the protection of members of Congress, staff, other employees and the public. Boebert, who like Greene is known to pack firearms, refused to go through the security system.
Both Greene and Boebert are playing upon deep fears of many of their followers. They demean the institutions of our democracy, the democratic process itself, a free press and the rights of minorities to equality and civility. The America that Greene and Boebert play to is one inspired by hate instead of love. It is nurtured by anger instead of hope. It seeks to tear down our institutions rather than to work within them to improve our society.
The House of Representatives must carefully consider appropriate actions to be taken against Congresswomen Greene and Boebert. If they will not curb their behavior, at a minimum, they should be deprived of their committee assignments. Expulsion from Congress is the ultimate punishment, but is unlikely. Expulsion requires a two-thirds vote under Article I, Section 5, of the Constitution.
Censuring Congresswomen Greene and Boebert is another remedy. It would require a majority vote. While Democrats hold a majority in the House, to have meaning, a censure resolution would require meaningful bipartisan support. Democratic and Republican House members of goodwill should explore a censure resolution.
Whether they are formally censured or not, Congresswomen Greene and Boebert have disgraced the House of Representatives with their sordid behavior. From the founding of our republic to the present, millions of brave American men and women have laid down their lives in battle to preserve our freedoms. Their hateful conduct dishonors the nobility of Congress, America’s citadel of liberty.
A version of this editorial appeared in the Feb. 4 edition of the Jewish Herald-Voice of Houston and is reprinted with permission.